Basic Knowledge of Kagawa Prefecture

Introduction of Kagawa Prefecture

Many years ago, Kagawa Prefecture was called Sanuki (讃岐).
Since “讃” means “to praise highly; to celebrate” and “岐” means “a mountain scene,” it is believed that the name Sanuki was given in reference to the beautiful natural scenery of the area.
The name Kagawa (香川), which literally means “fragrant river,” spread in popularity because of the nice fragrance of water flowing through the rivers.

YouTube video: "Kagawa Introduction"

Japanese Eras and the History of Kagawa Prefecture

  • until 710

    Early Japan

    Human settlements established, building of ancient tombs

  • 710-1192

    Nara and Heian Periods
    Aristocratic rule and development of unique Japanese culture

    Life of Kukai (Japanese Buddhist monk), Battle of Yashima

  • 1192-1333

    Kamakura Period
    Rise of samurai, establishment of feudalism

    Main hall at Kandani Shrine erected

  • 1333-1573

    Muromachi Period
    From samurai rule to period of war

    Frequent conflicts over control of Sanuki Province

  • 1573-1603

    Azuchi-Momoyama Period
    Age of civil war

    Frequent conflicts over control of Sanuki Province

  • 1603-1868

    Edo Period
    Age of peace without war, similar to Pax Romana
    • Takamatsu Castle (currently Tamamo Park) built, eastern half of Kagawa governed by Matsudaira clan
    • Marugame Castle built, western half of Kagawa governed by Kyogoku clan
    • Konpira Shrine and the Shikoku Pilgrimage become popular
  • 1868-1912

    Meiji Period
    Opening and modernization (Westernization)

    Birth of "Kagawa Prefecture"

  • 1912-1945

    Taisho and Early Showa Periods
    Age of war

    Setonaikai (Seto Inland Sea) National Park becomes Japan's first national park

  • since 1945

    Postwar Period
    Modern time

    Seto Ohashi Bridge completed, connected to Honshu

What are cultural properties?

Cultural properties represent Japan’s diverse and rich history and culture, and include tangible assets such as buildings, paintings, and ancient documents, and intangible assets such as theater, music, and craftsmanship. The following are only a sample of the wide variety of items included in this classification: essential needs (food, clothing, and shelter), religion, festivals and other customs, folk performing arts and other folk cultural properties, ancient tombs, castle ruins, gardens, mountains, and flora and fauna.
Among these, items with high historical, artistic, and academic value for Japan are designated and selected as National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties by the Government of Japan. In order to contribute to cultural advancement among the public as well as the progress of world culture, these cultural properties are maintained and repaired as necessary, and preserved to ensure their value for future generations. They are also utilized in a variety of manners, such as making them widely available to the public.